Plague

   Life is always accompanied by pain. Since the birth of mankind, it has begun the struggle against disease. Swedish pathologist Falk Henshin once said: “The history of mankind is the history of disease.” Indeed, the process of human development, from the oldest plague and influenza, to the recent Ebola and SARS, Almost every epidemic of disease always accompanies the development of human civilization; and the large-scale outbreak of disease will in turn have a major and far-reaching impact on human civilization. Looking back in the depths of history, we see that in the desolation of the years, the shadow of the plague has been lingering. Before the next outbreak of the plague, it is necessary to look at the past so that we are able to deal with the future.
  
   It filled the ancient plague years of desolation in the
   war between man and the mouse
   Let’s start talking about the plague.
   Plague is a disease caused by Yersinia pestis. Rodents (especially wild mice and house mice) and their fleas carry the pathogen and spread it to humans or other animals. Epidemic plague has occurred many times in human history, and the global plague has occurred 3 times, with more than 100 million deaths and many cities and towns extinct. According to literature statistics, the number of people who died from the epidemic is more than the total number of deaths from all wars in history. No wonder people call this disease the “black monster” in horror.
   The first plague pandemic in history occurred in the 6th century AD and originated in the Middle East. The epidemic center was on the Mediterranean coast of the Near East. In 542 AD, it spread to North Africa and Europe along the land and sea trade roads in Port Said, southern Egypt, and almost affected all the famous countries at that time. The epidemic lasted for 50 to 60 years. During the extreme epidemic period, 10,000 people died every day, and the total number of deaths was nearly 100 million. At the time of the Justinian dynasty in Ethiopia, the epidemic went down in history as the “Justinian Plague”. This pandemic caused the decline of the Eastern Roman Empire.
   The second pandemic occurred in the 14th century (1346~1665), and there are different opinions on its origin. Some people believe that it originated in the Mesopotamian plains and spread to other countries and regions due to the Crusades. However, many historians believe that the epidemic may have originated in western China, India, Central Asia, and southern Russia, where ancient plague foci exist in these countries and regions.
   And there is a legend that goes like this: an Italian businessman who was in the spice business owned a ship specially used to transport spices. The fascinating spice makes many mice smell. One day in 1347, the Italian merchant’s ship laden with spices arrived at the Black Sea port and docked next to a warehouse in Genoa. Are they tired from the long journey or living on the boat for a long time and need to change places? All the rats on the boat ran to the shore and entered the warehouse. At the time, people didn’t expect much, and the Italian businessman didn’t find it strange. Who cares about the rat going ashore? But after a while, the residents of Genoa suffered from swollen lymph nodes. People were horrified to find that their skin had dark pimple-the terrible pigment spots of the “Black Death”.
   It didn’t take long for the disease to spread rapidly throughout Europe. The plague had been endemic for 300 years, and the European people were living in panic. The plague pandemic caused the extinction of many European cities and towns. The death toll was as high as 25 million, accounting for 1/3 of the total European population at the time. Italy and the United Kingdom accounted for half of their population.
   According to records, there were rotting and smelling dead cats and dogs on the sidewalks of London at that time. People killed them as the culprits of spreading the plague. However, without cats, the real source of plague, rats, became more and more rampant. Bogey. By August 1665, there were 2,000 deaths per week, and 8,000 deaths a month later. The famous writer Pepys wrote in his diary on October 16, 1665: “My God! No one is walking on the street, the scene is miserable. Many people fall ill on the street. Everyone I meet is right. I said, so and so is sick, so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so and so with that are dead…” It wasn’t until a few months later that a large fire (known as the “London Fire” in history) burned down most of the buildings in London, the rats disappeared, and the plague epidemic died down. .
   This plague pandemic has been called the “Black Death” in history. As an indirect consequence of the Black Death, the traditional European social structure was instantly destroyed with the plague. People no longer believed in the salvation theory of God preached by Catholicism, which led to religious reforms and later religious wars.
   The third pandemic began at the end of the 19th century. It broke out suddenly and reached its highest peak in the 1930s. It affected more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, America and Africa, and killed more than 10 million people. The spread of this pandemic is fast and spread to a wide area, far exceeding the previous two pandemics.
   During this plague pandemic, the land of China also suffered an unprecedented catastrophe: during the reign of Guangxu, Hong Kong had a severe plague. “The plague spread to Hong Kong. The Chinese infected with the plague and killed more than 2,000 people. There were as many as 80,000 refugees from Hong Kong.” In May 1892, “The plague spread from Guangxi and southern Guangdong to Guangzhou.” March 1894, ” The Guangzhou plague masterpiece first broke out in Nanshengli, south of the city, and spread throughout the city within ten days, killing tens of thousands of people. The whole city fell into a terrifying scene, which lasted half a year.” In 1910, the plague occurred in the three northeastern provinces of my country. “The plague was the first to be seen in Manzhouli, and the population died from the disease. It was spread by railway lines to Harbin, Changchun, Fengtian and other places, and then invaded Zhili and Shandong.” According to incomplete statistics, the plague took away 50,000 to 60,000 people. life.
   At the end of the 19th century, medical scientists found the real culprit that caused lymphatic enlargement and hemorrhagic disease, which was the Yersinia pestis brought by mice. In the 20th century, scientists invented streptomycin and sulfa drugs, and the plague was effectively treated.
   However, between September and October 1994, the plague broke out in India. The 300,000 Indian citizens of Surat who were terrified by the spread of the plague fled to all directions in India, and at the same time brought plague germs and fear to various places. In less than two weeks, this terrible plague has spread to seven Indian states and the New Delhi administrative region. Experts believe that the extremely dirty environment in Surat City has led to an epidemic of plague. The city clears out 1,400 tons of garbage every day. The garbage is everywhere and provides a unique place for the reproduction and breeding of rats. This plague not only caused serious loss of life and economy, but the modern image that the Indian government worked hard to create was also severely hit by the plague.
   Some scientists predicted: “Human infectious diseases will generally develop in the direction of elimination”, but the prevalence of Indian plague shows that this plague is not extinct.
   Human smallpox road to conquer
   another level of terror comparable to the smallpox plague epidemic.
   A few centuries ago, about 60% of the world’s population was threatened by smallpox, a quarter of those infected would die, and most survivors would be blind or scarred. Fortunately, smallpox has now been completely wiped out by humans, and it has become the first and only infectious disease that has been eliminated.
   The history of smallpox harming humans may be even longer than the plague. The scars of smallpox can be seen on Egyptian mummies more than 3000 years ago. There are also records of smallpox disease in India in the 6th century BC. In the Middle Ages, smallpox was widespread in countries all over the world. Almost 10% of the residents died of smallpox. One out of five people had pitting on their faces, and even the emperor was not immune. According to the report, Emperor Shunzhi died of smallpox. In order to avoid infection when Kangxi was young, he was guarded by a nanny outside the Forbidden City, and he dared not enter the palace to visit his father. Emperor Louis XV, Queen Mary II of England, Emperor Joseph I, Emperor Peter II of Russia, etc., all died of smallpox infection. The smallpox in America was brought in by the Spanish in the 16th century. According to reports, smallpox became popular in the United States in 1872, and 2585 people died in Philadelphia alone. Throughout the 18th century, more than 150 million people died of smallpox in Europe. In Russia, in the 10 years from 1900 to 1909, 500,000 people died of smallpox.